Orthopaedic research reveals trends in practices

July 9, 2013

Topic: orthopaedic research

Orthopedic practices evolve

Orthopaedic practices are evolving to meet changing standards in care, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The report found that alterations to clinics have been in response to hospital-owned services, new costs and regulations. One such adjustment is expanded services, including physical therapy and other forms of rehabilitation.

The orthopaedic research revealed that 60 percent of practices offer services that employ physical therapists, office administrators, coding specialists and registered nurses. Sports physician assistants have been hired at an increased pace in recent months - 53 percent of those surveyed noted that their practice had hired a PA in the past year, while approximately 33 percent said that they had hired additional physical therapists, hospitalists, nurse practitioners and coding specialists over the same time span. Practices have also increased the availability of diagnostic imaging, such as MRIs, on site, in order to provide full sports injury treatment

Amid alterations, some things remain consistent
The survey also found that while the industry has evolved, some things have not changed. Orthopaedic surgeons are still the most influential when it comes to their testing and research regarding orthopaedic devices and products, in addition to determining the needs of patients. 

"Despite increased consolidation and hospital ownership of practices, surgeons remain involved in the purchasing process, with greater than 90 percent reporting that they have influence in decisions regarding purchases of orthopaedic devices," noted Rhonda McGee, research analyst. 

The National Institutes of Health reported that evidence-based sources of information are the heaviest influences on orthopaedic surgeons' decisions regarding new treatments and methods. Independent and scientific proof plays more of a role in influencing practices than information provided by manufacturers of orthopaedic materials. 

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